“Brock Lesnar,” said Jon Jones after reclaiming the UFC light-heavyweight championship from Daniel Cormier at UFC 214.
The crowd popped like crazy – the returning Jones, who has never been defeated in his professional career, challenging the former heavyweight champion to a fight. During the buildup to Jones’ second fight with Cormier, rumors began to spread about a Lesnar callout.
Jones seemed to deny these rumors at first, claiming he didn’t start them. It made sense that the man they call “Bones,” who had looked average in his previous fight, would want to focus solely on Daniel Cormier. After claiming the interim title when Jones was suspended due to personal and professional issues, Cormier was vocal about his eagerness to see his rival once more.
The man known as “DC” had wins over former heavyweight champions and top contenders in the light-heavyweight division. His drop in weight wasn’t due to a loss, but rather to having a teammate competing in the same division. Given that he was a little smaller than his American Kickboxing Academy teammate Cain Velasquez, Cormier set his sights on the light-heavyweight championship.
Jones remains the only main to ever defeat Cormier, winning the rematch and moving 2-0 in the rivalry. Cormier’s post-fight interview was a somber moment, in which Cormier stated his second loss meant there was no longer a rivalry between the two.
Jones, who had been scrutinized for his questionable behavior, was very complementary of Cormier after the fight. But it wouldn’t be Jones’ stunning third-round KO that got the final crowd pop of the night – it would be his callout of Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar has always been a top draw for the UFC. His rematch with Frank Mir at UFC 100 remained the most-bought UFC PPV for seven years until finally being topped by UFC 202 in August of 2016. The latter card featured the highly anticipated McGregor/Diaz rematch, but only beat the record by about 50,000 buys.
Lesnar’s original bout with Mir, his title defense against Shawn Carwin, and his title loss to DC’s teammate Cain Velasquez all headline some of the best-selling cards in UFC history. Jones said he was inspired by UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, whose penchant for super fights has also led him to great success.
McGregor lays claim to the main event on the first and third best-selling UFC cards ever. If Jones and Lesnar do meet, it will be the first time Jones has ever fought at heavyweight. However, it seems the fight may not be taking place as soon as some would like.
Lesnar remains employed by WWE, an occupation that’s earned him as much popularity as his MMA and NCAA credentials. If Lesnar finishes out his current contract, there could be a chance the fight could be made by next year.
Nothing is impossible, especially knowing how the UFC’s new owners are with promotion. Though it is unlikely, a Jones/Lesnar showdown would make for the perfect new year’s fight. Whenever the card occurs, it will easily be one of the best-selling events ever.
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